Scarborough woman raising funds for family in Barbuda

News Sep 15, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The extreme devastation that has recently struck the tiny island nation of Barbuda is extra close to home for one east Toronto family.

On Sept. 7, the category five hurricane Irma destroyed an estimated 90 per cent of the buildings in the eastern Caribbean country.

Long-time Scarborough resident John Teague grew up there. Roughly 50 of his immediate family members and numerous friends still lived in Barbuda until recently. Since the disaster, the entire island has been evacuated.

Despite having left Barbuda 36 years ago, Teague, his wife Vicky Tsorlinis, along with their children Isaac and Phebe, have visited Barbuda on a number of occasions as they have a family home there. The couple plans to one day spend the winters there.

“All of my sisters- and brothers-in-law, my nieces, and nephews are in Barbuda,” Tsorlinis told The Mirror during a recent interview. 

“Everything’s destroyed. Anyone who returns only has the clothes on their back. They have to start again from zero.”

Reality really started to set a few days later when the local family started to receive emails from relatives that contained photos of local landmarks they’d seen countless times over the years completely razed.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” she shared. 

Tsorlinis, who has volunteered for a number of causes over the years, immediately felt compelled to do something to help her loved ones.

“I wanted to show them I cared. I didn’t want people to be forgotten,” said Tsorlinis, who has held a number of book sale fundraisers over the years.

The day after the disaster hit, she immediately reached out to businesses along Queen Street East in the Beach to see if they'd offer their space for a book sale.

And while Harold Weisfeld, or Zoltzz as he's better known, was unable to offer space at his former Ends storefront at Queen and Elmer as is had officially been sold, he has come forward to donate some leftover items from his discount emporium for those in Barbuda.

Andrew Beckett of Beaches Pharmasave was able to donate some room for Tsorlinis to hold a book sale on September 9 and 10. That fundraiser raised $1,300.

Last Saturday, she sold books for Barbuda at the inaugural Toronto Beaches Festival at Woodbine Beach raising $1,150. Event organizer Christiane Tetreault donated space for the fundraiser.

Tsorlinis, who is aiming to raise $5,000 for her relatives Barbuda, is holding another book sale in the Upper Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7 a.m to 3 p.m. at Savoury Grounds, 283 Scarborough rd.   

She's still finalizing locations for a few more upcoming book sales. 

“So far the response has been incredible. I’m so happy,” said Tsorlinis, who stores donated books at her southwest Scarborough home in large supermarket bags.

In early November, Toronto doctor Greg Flynn will be sailing to Antigua and has generously offered to transport any items the Teague family may need at his expense. Funds raised by Tsorlinis will be used to purchase those essentials.

In the near future, Tsorlinis and her husband along with other family members abroad plan to travel to Barbuda to assist with cleaning up and rebuilding.  

Email Tsorlinis at vickytsorlinis@rogers.com for more details about the times and locations of upcoming book sales and/or to make a donation.

Scarborough woman raising funds for family in Barbuda

Money from book sales will be used to purchase items for rebuilding hurricane-stricken Caribbean nation

News Sep 15, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The extreme devastation that has recently struck the tiny island nation of Barbuda is extra close to home for one east Toronto family.

On Sept. 7, the category five hurricane Irma destroyed an estimated 90 per cent of the buildings in the eastern Caribbean country.

Long-time Scarborough resident John Teague grew up there. Roughly 50 of his immediate family members and numerous friends still lived in Barbuda until recently. Since the disaster, the entire island has been evacuated.

Despite having left Barbuda 36 years ago, Teague, his wife Vicky Tsorlinis, along with their children Isaac and Phebe, have visited Barbuda on a number of occasions as they have a family home there. The couple plans to one day spend the winters there.

“All of my sisters- and brothers-in-law, my nieces, and nephews are in Barbuda,” Tsorlinis told The Mirror during a recent interview. 

“Everything’s destroyed. Anyone who returns only has the clothes on their back. They have to start again from zero.”

Reality really started to set a few days later when the local family started to receive emails from relatives that contained photos of local landmarks they’d seen countless times over the years completely razed.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” she shared. 

Tsorlinis, who has volunteered for a number of causes over the years, immediately felt compelled to do something to help her loved ones.

“I wanted to show them I cared. I didn’t want people to be forgotten,” said Tsorlinis, who has held a number of book sale fundraisers over the years.

The day after the disaster hit, she immediately reached out to businesses along Queen Street East in the Beach to see if they'd offer their space for a book sale.

And while Harold Weisfeld, or Zoltzz as he's better known, was unable to offer space at his former Ends storefront at Queen and Elmer as is had officially been sold, he has come forward to donate some leftover items from his discount emporium for those in Barbuda.

Andrew Beckett of Beaches Pharmasave was able to donate some room for Tsorlinis to hold a book sale on September 9 and 10. That fundraiser raised $1,300.

Last Saturday, she sold books for Barbuda at the inaugural Toronto Beaches Festival at Woodbine Beach raising $1,150. Event organizer Christiane Tetreault donated space for the fundraiser.

Tsorlinis, who is aiming to raise $5,000 for her relatives Barbuda, is holding another book sale in the Upper Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7 a.m to 3 p.m. at Savoury Grounds, 283 Scarborough rd.   

She's still finalizing locations for a few more upcoming book sales. 

“So far the response has been incredible. I’m so happy,” said Tsorlinis, who stores donated books at her southwest Scarborough home in large supermarket bags.

In early November, Toronto doctor Greg Flynn will be sailing to Antigua and has generously offered to transport any items the Teague family may need at his expense. Funds raised by Tsorlinis will be used to purchase those essentials.

In the near future, Tsorlinis and her husband along with other family members abroad plan to travel to Barbuda to assist with cleaning up and rebuilding.  

Email Tsorlinis at vickytsorlinis@rogers.com for more details about the times and locations of upcoming book sales and/or to make a donation.

Scarborough woman raising funds for family in Barbuda

Money from book sales will be used to purchase items for rebuilding hurricane-stricken Caribbean nation

News Sep 15, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The extreme devastation that has recently struck the tiny island nation of Barbuda is extra close to home for one east Toronto family.

On Sept. 7, the category five hurricane Irma destroyed an estimated 90 per cent of the buildings in the eastern Caribbean country.

Long-time Scarborough resident John Teague grew up there. Roughly 50 of his immediate family members and numerous friends still lived in Barbuda until recently. Since the disaster, the entire island has been evacuated.

Despite having left Barbuda 36 years ago, Teague, his wife Vicky Tsorlinis, along with their children Isaac and Phebe, have visited Barbuda on a number of occasions as they have a family home there. The couple plans to one day spend the winters there.

“All of my sisters- and brothers-in-law, my nieces, and nephews are in Barbuda,” Tsorlinis told The Mirror during a recent interview. 

“Everything’s destroyed. Anyone who returns only has the clothes on their back. They have to start again from zero.”

Reality really started to set a few days later when the local family started to receive emails from relatives that contained photos of local landmarks they’d seen countless times over the years completely razed.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” she shared. 

Tsorlinis, who has volunteered for a number of causes over the years, immediately felt compelled to do something to help her loved ones.

“I wanted to show them I cared. I didn’t want people to be forgotten,” said Tsorlinis, who has held a number of book sale fundraisers over the years.

The day after the disaster hit, she immediately reached out to businesses along Queen Street East in the Beach to see if they'd offer their space for a book sale.

And while Harold Weisfeld, or Zoltzz as he's better known, was unable to offer space at his former Ends storefront at Queen and Elmer as is had officially been sold, he has come forward to donate some leftover items from his discount emporium for those in Barbuda.

Andrew Beckett of Beaches Pharmasave was able to donate some room for Tsorlinis to hold a book sale on September 9 and 10. That fundraiser raised $1,300.

Last Saturday, she sold books for Barbuda at the inaugural Toronto Beaches Festival at Woodbine Beach raising $1,150. Event organizer Christiane Tetreault donated space for the fundraiser.

Tsorlinis, who is aiming to raise $5,000 for her relatives Barbuda, is holding another book sale in the Upper Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7 a.m to 3 p.m. at Savoury Grounds, 283 Scarborough rd.   

She's still finalizing locations for a few more upcoming book sales. 

“So far the response has been incredible. I’m so happy,” said Tsorlinis, who stores donated books at her southwest Scarborough home in large supermarket bags.

In early November, Toronto doctor Greg Flynn will be sailing to Antigua and has generously offered to transport any items the Teague family may need at his expense. Funds raised by Tsorlinis will be used to purchase those essentials.

In the near future, Tsorlinis and her husband along with other family members abroad plan to travel to Barbuda to assist with cleaning up and rebuilding.  

Email Tsorlinis at vickytsorlinis@rogers.com for more details about the times and locations of upcoming book sales and/or to make a donation.